UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones will put his title on the line against former PRIDE and Strikeforce champ Dan “Hendo” Henderson at UFC 151 on September 1st. The bout is set to take place at a venue to be determined in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to UFC President Dana White.
Jones is coming off of a one-sided decision victory over rival “Suga” Rashad Evans at UFC 145 this past month and has won seven straight fights since a contentious disqualification loss in late 2009. Henderson has won seven of his past eight and recently earned a big win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Jones (16-1-0) has quickly become one of the most dominant light heavyweights in MMA history with impressive victories against many of the sport’s biggest stars. He captured the UFC title with a third-round stoppage of the aforementioned Rua in March 2011 and has successfully defended the belt three times since. After victories over former champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida late last year, Jones kicked off his 2012 campaign with a five-round decision win over Evans three weeks ago. A move up to heavyweight appears to be under serious consideration, but Jones will remain at 205 for at least one more fight when he faces Henderson in September.
Henderson (29-8-0) returned to the UFC in 2007 as a two-division PRIDE champion, but suffered defeats in a pair of title unification bouts. Questions arose as to whether Henderson’s time as a top contender was over, but the 41-year-old has since bounced back with arguably the most successful eight-fight stretch of his career. He departed the UFC after a crushing knockout win over Michael “The Count” Bisping and challenged unsuccessfully for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship, but went on to capture the promotion’s 205-pound title in March 2011. Less than five months later, Henderson stopped former PRIDE legend Fedor Emelianenko in the first round, and he made a successful return to the Octagon with a thrilling decision win over Rua in November.
With Henderson seen by many as the last remaining threat to Jones’s UFC title, the UFC 151 main event bout could potentially mark Jones’s final appearance in the light heavyweight division for the foreseeable future. Henderson possesses one-punch knockout power in both hands, however, and should present a solid test for the young champion.
UFC 151 takes place on September 1st at a venue to be determined in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)